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Crawl Space & Foundation Repair in Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill


Crawl Space Encapsulation & Repair in Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC

Basement and crawl space flooding is a very frequent occurrence in the Research Triangle Area that includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, NC. The tropical storms and persistent rainfall throughout the year keep the soil around foundations well-saturated, making it difficult for them to stay dry. The flooding alone is enough to drive any homeowner mad, but the resulting humidity causes more problems than you would think.

Many of the issues you face in your home are actually a result of basement and crawl space dampness. Mold, wood, rot, high energy bills, and foul smells are only some of the problems you face if your home’s sub-level is not waterproof. Many homeowners think these issues are isolated incidents and have to continuously fix the recurring problem without getting to the source.

To end and prevent these issues, you can contact us for waterproofing solutions. To transform your humid, water-damaged sub-level into a respectable foundation, you’ll need all the tools you can get. Many homeowners believe replacing their old sump pump is enough to stop the damage, but you’ll need to stop the humidity as well or your problems won’t end. This means applying a vapor barrier on the walls and installing a powerful dehumidifier like our THBS dehumidifier.

inspecting a home

Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill Foundation Repair

foundation repair

Due to the kind of soil in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, foundation issues are not unheard of for homeowners in this region. Foundation settling is caused by soil shrinking and expanding, which occurs when clay soils are exposed to water. When the soil shrinks, it compacts, loses its volume, and leaves gaps. The foundation is then left without stable soil to support it, which causes it to settle.

Other foundation issues occur because of hydrostatic pressure. Water accumulates around your foundation and rests up against the walls. The weight of the water causes the walls to bow inward, crack, and open the gates for the groundwater to enter your basement or crawl space. These problems seem incredibly complicated to solve, but luckily for you, we’ve got everything you need to fix up your foundation.

Regardless of the kind of foundation you have—slab, basement, or crawl space—we’ve got you covered. There’s no need to replace your entire foundation, Helical, push, or slab piers can be used to stabilize the foundation and lift it back into place. THBS also has wall anchors to both straighten and strengthen uneven wall.

Concrete Lifting in Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC

Have you noticed your driveway looks a bit uneven lately? What about your concrete steps, are they wobbly? It’s possible the concrete around your home is settling. The Research Triangle Area, which includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, are surrounded by NC’s state soil, Cecil soil. Cecil soil contains a lot of clay and is considered expansive for it.

When soil has that much clay, it easily shifts around as it expands and shrinks. This poses a problem for your concrete slab, which sits on top of the soil. Without the soil holding it up, it settles and breaks if too much pressure is placed on it.

Not only does concrete settling ruin the way your property looks, it’s also incredibly dangerous. Thankfully, settled concrete slabs are a problem that can be rectified quickly with PolyRenewal™ Polyurethane Injections. It’s a concrete lifting solution that involves injecting polyurethane foam into the slab until there’s enough to lift the slab back into place. It provides a permanent solution to concrete settling because, unlike soil, it doesn’t shift around.

Frequently Asked Questions

About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in the Research Triangle

A sump pump is a pump that’s used to drain the water out of a basement or a crawl space. It’s also capable of draining the groundwater from the surrounding foundation, which is extremely useful for the prevention of hydrostatic pressure. Instead of relying on gravity, it pumps the water out and discharges it far from the foundation. Installing a sump pump is a great way to make sure there’s no flooding in your home’s sub-level and makes your life a whole lot easier. That said, there are certain situations in which you will need to take extra measures and install a second sump pump.

If you live in North Carolina, you don’t need to be told how much it rains, especially during the summer. The constant precipitation causes frequent flooding and your sump pump has to handle pumping out all that water. After storms, it’s common to hear sump pumps working for hours at a time as the water rushes into the pit. Even if the sump pump does its job and your basement doesn’t flood after a storm, it would still be wise to invest in a second sump pump. If your sump pump is running for hours because of the copious amounts of water it has to pump out, the battery will be overworked and the pump will stop working.

If you lived in a dryer state, you could get away with a single sump pump. Homeowners in NC’s Research Triangle Area, however, need to make extra preparations to make sure their basements and crawl spaces are protected. A single sump pit should have a back-up battery in case the main battery fails. A sump pump like our The SafeDri™ battery back-up sump pump system is perfect for a rainy region like Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.

The clay bowl effect is the reason waterproofing your foundation is crucial, especially in a rainy region like the Research Triangle Area including Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. When a house is built, soil is dug out until a crater is excavated. The foundation is constructed in the bowl and the soil that was removed is used to fill in the gaps of the bowl. The soil within the bowl is compacted and dense enough to support the weight of the house. The soil used as backfill, however, is not.

The soil that’s used to fill the bowl is a lot looser and porous. It’s not possible to compact the soil when it’s being used for backfill because of the way it has to be poured around the foundation. Because it’s not as dense, water is able to filter through with more ease and the soil expands with less difficulty. The Cecil soil in the Research Triangle Area is already expansive enough, so to have this loose, porous soil so close to the foundation causes a lot of problems. The more it rains, the more water accumulates around the foundation, and given how much it rains in North Carolina, you can bet that your soil is constantly saturated with water.

When water accumulates around your foundation, it has the potential to press up against the walls and cause hydrostatic pressure. The weight of the water puts a lot of pressure on the walls of your foundation, causing them to bow inwards and crack. All the groundwater eventually makes it through the cracks and enters your basement and crawl space. If the issue is left for too long, there will be enough structural damage to cause foundation settling. Before that happens, you can optimize the drainage in your yard to steer the flow of water away from your foundation.

When slab foundations settle, the consequences can be even worse than crawl space and basement foundations. When there is settling, water is more likely to seep through the foundation because of the cracks on the broken walls and floors. When you have a basement or crawl space, the flooding isn’t very impactful because it normally doesn’t reach your actual living space. Although settling is a terrible thing to deal with as a homeowner regardless of what kind of foundation you have, slab foundations are a special case. There’s a difference between finding water in a basement or crawl space versus finding water in your closet or kitchen.

Because slab settling is so disruptive, many homeowners rush to a solution without doing their research. Many times, they resort to the wrong solution, like replacing the foundation instead of repairing it. If the slab foundation is settling and cracking, it may seem sensible to try to replace it. After all, if something as important as a home’s foundation is broken, getting an entirely new one makes the most sense, right? Actually, repairing the slab using slab piers is what’s best for your home’s foundation and it’s what’s best for you, the homeowner.

Slab piers are driven deep into the ground until they reach load-bearing soil that does not shift. They’re attached to the slab and not only stabilize it, but they also bear the load of the entire house, effectively solving the issue of an unstable foundation. If the settling is caused by soil shrinking and expansion, building a new foundation won’t stop that. The new slab will eventually fall to the shifting soil, while the piers remain stable no matter how much the topsoil shifts. Slab piers are ultimately the superior option if you need a quality, long-term solution.

When checking your crawl space, you might be surprised to find some dew drops hanging from the pipes, ductwork, walls, and wood. If you’re determined to keep water and humidity out of your crawl space, seeing these dew drops might alarm you. The truth is, if you’re seeing water droplets in your crawl space, there’s already a substantial amount of humidity in the space. These water droplets occur due to condensation, which is common in crawl spaces with poor humidity control.

Condensation occurs when the water vapor in the air turns into liquid—it’s essentially the opposite of evaporation. Condensation can occur in two ways and both spell trouble for your crawl space. In order for the water vapor to turn into water droplets, the temperature in the space needs to reach its dew point. The entirety of the space does not need to change temperature; even just a small area can produce droplets. This is why you’re most likely to find dew drops on the AC vents and pipes, which are usually cold and create the perfect contrast against the warm crawl space air to cause condensation.

The second way condensation can occur is when the air becomes so saturated with moisture, the water particles come together until there is enough to form water droplets. Whether it’s because of the temperature or the amount of moisture in the air, the existence of the dew drops is a major problem. Somehow, moisture is getting into your crawl space, enough for there to be high levels of humidity. Moisture can produce wood rot, invite pests, encourage mold, cause high energy bills, and debilitate the structural integrity of concrete. If you want to avoid these problems, you need to consider waterproofing solutions for your crawl space.

Uneven floors are a sign of serious problems with your foundation, and it can occur due to wood rot or a foundation settling. When water and humidity run rampant in your basement or crawl space, the floor joists can get infested with fungi and begin to rot. Fungi are microorganisms that eat organic material such as wood. When surviving on wood, the fungus completely deteriorates the joist as it consumes the wood. Because the wood is becoming soft or slowly breaking apart, it’s no longer able to support the floorboards, causing the unevenness.

Another cause for uneven floors is foundation settling, which occurs due to soil displacement. Expansive soil shrinks when all of its moisture content dries up or drains away. It loses its volume, so the foundation no longer has a stable layer of soil that can hold it up. The house begins to shift, and as it shifts, it begins to settle in many different places. The support beams and joists that once stood vertically begin to tilt along with the house and cause the floor to shift.

In both of these instances, the problem lies in a lack of proper waterproofing solutions for the foundation of the home. If water and water vapor get into the crawl space or basement, there will be wood rot. If water is allowed to flow towards the foundation, the chances of foundation settling will increase. To avoid the issue, proper yard drainage solutions should be put into place so the soil around the foundation isn’t saturated with soil every time it rains. Foundation piers and crawl space stabilizers can set things straight, but these should only be installed after the real problem is addressed—the water and humidity in the home’s sub-level.

Uneven concrete steps are a common household problem. The reason it’s so common is because it’s caused by the displacement of soil. The soil underneath your steps is meant to hold it up, so if that soil shifts in anyway, the steps will too. When the soil is originally laid out, it’s dense and firm, capable of holding up the stairs and any weight that’s placed on it. That all changes when the soil shrinks and expands.

When soil has a lot of clay content in it, it retains the moisture and expands considerably. The problem is, the more the soil is able to expand when wet, the more it’s able to shrink when dry. Once all the moisture content in the soil is gone, the soil shrinks as it compacts closely together. When soil shrinks, it loses a lot of its volume and leaves gaps everywhere. These gaps not only make it easier for water to run through the soil, it also leaves the steps without a solid support.

Without proper support, the concrete steps settle against the uneven soil. If too much weight is placed upon the steps, they crack due to being unable to evenly distribute the tension. Soil expands when meeting water, so the trick to avoiding concrete step settling is to make sure the area around the steps is exposed to water as little as possible. Soil expansion and shrinking is not entirely unavoidable since soil naturally shifts over time but taking precautions does slow down the process.

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Research Triangle Local Office

Tar Heel Basement Systems

3333 Air Park Road
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526
Phone: 984-255-7529

Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 2 pm

TarHeel Basement Systems Service Map

Our Service Areas

Greensboro Location

717 Green Valley Rd, Suite 200
Greensboro, NC 27408

Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Location

3333 Air Park Road
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

Winston-Salem/High Point Location

2910 Griffith Rd
Winston-Salem, NC 27103